From the category archives:

Baseball movies

Two of my favorite pastimes are baseball and movies. So when a book comes along about a baseball movie, you know I’m all over that. So there was with great joy when I learned awhile back that Richard Sandomir, the former sports media columnist for The New York Times (now on the “dead beat” for […]

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As you may have notice, these entries have been falling off in the last several weeks. My apologies. A new full-time job — very different from what I had been doing as the sports and features editor of a weekly community newspaper in suburban New jersey — has put new and strange demands on my […]

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The author of the inspirational memoir Fear Strikes Out — which openly chronicled Piersall’s battle with mental illness — died Saturday at the age of 87. The book was much better than the movie. According to the excellent obituary by Richard Goldstein in The New York Times, “I hated the movie,” Piersall wrote in his […]

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The New York Times obituary says the late actor was best known for his role as a southern sheriff in a couple of James Bond movies. Not for me. For me, Clifton was best known for his role as the penurious Charles A. Comiskey, owner of the Chicago White Sox, in Eight Men Out (which […]

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We’re getting to the point where a bunch of new titles are hitting the bookstores. Herewith a brief roundup. New York Sports Day posted this one on Marty Appel’s engaging new project, Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character. They also did this one on Shawn Krest’s Baseball Meat Market: The Stories Behind the Best and Worst […]

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The 2013 Jackie Robinson biopic was on this morning and the more I watch it, the more problems I have with it. Please understand, I have nothing but the utmost respect for everything Robinson and the others pioneers went through (we often hear about Robinson and Larry Doby, the first African-American to play in the […]

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The 1957 film version of Jim Piersall’s Fear Strikes Out depicted the relationship between a star player, performed by Anthony Perkins — in his first starring role (according to the trailer below) and in one of the silliest examples of athletic casting since Paul Bendix tried to pull off being Babe Ruth — and his […]

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Ken Burns was on the show yesterday to discuss his upcoming documentary on Jackie Robinson, to be aired next month on PBS.   If they’d just done this a few days earlier, it would have been a perfect feature for Black History Month. But I can also understand that you don’t want to publicize something […]

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There’s a link in Graham Womack’s piece on The Sporting News site that will take you to a similar ranking of “the best baseball movies of all time.” I wouldn’t have raised a peep if they substituted “favorite” for “best,” but you know how I feel about superlatives; I’m not going to let this go […]

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A while back I wrote about The Quitter (twice, in fact) which, IMHO, is one of the worst “baseball movies” ever made. I put that in quotes because, of course, it’s not really about baseball. They could have just have easily made the lead character the proprietor of a laundromat. But researching one baseball movie […]

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Bits and pieces, Feb. 18, 2016

February 18, 2016

♦ The Minnesota Spokesman Record, an African-America newspaper, posted this review of They Played for the Love of the Game: Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota, published by Frank M. White. ♦ The Lincoln (NE) Journal Star provided this piece on Roger Angell‘s memoir, This Old Man: All in Pieces. I still maintain this […]

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Called third strike redux

February 11, 2016

Spoiler alert: This entry will discuss the end of The Quitter, which I blogged about in the previous entry. On the other hand, I consider this as saving you a few bucks and/or 90 minutes of your valuable time. You’re welcome. Against my better judgment, I watched The Quitter to its stunning conclusion. I have […]

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As I said before, I’ll watch just about any movie that has baseball as one of the key words in its description. But that doesn’t mean I’ll watch it ’til the end. Life’s too short. I came across The Quitter by accident when I checked what my local public TV station was airing for the […]

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It’s widely agreed that baseball movies as a rule don’t do well either at the box office or with critics. Sure there are exceptions — Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and the original Bad News Bears immediately come to mind. But by and large, meh. Case in point: I recently watched a MLB Network presentation […]

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Since I posted the first of these on a Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. These are kind of fun; it’s like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. (Actually, I never understood […]

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Sort list this time, as I’m pretty much caught up on most current events. ♦ Dwier Brown, who play Ray Kinsella’s dad in Field of Dreams was a recent guest on the Hall of Very Good podcast. (As a reminder, I also had a chat with Brown.) ♦ I keep meaning to brush up on […]

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The last time I spoke with Jon Leonoudakis for a Bookshelf Conversation, it was to discuss his 2012 project Not Exactly Cooperstown, a documentary about The Baseball Reliquary, a “nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history and to exploring the national pastime’s unparalleled […]

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Next to baseball and books (and, of course, baseball books), I enjoy learning about what goes on behind the scenes in movies. That;’s why I enjoy the I Was There Too podcast hosted by Matt Gourley, which features  interviews with actors who may not have been the stars of the films in which they appeared, […]

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Bits and pieces, Nov. 18, 2015

November 18, 2015

Been a bit busy lately with the two author events, so I know I’ve fallen behind. You never know where inspiration will come from. According to this public radio story, Haruki Murakami came up with the idea for his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, as the result of a 1978 pro game in Japan, […]

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Since I posted the first of these on a Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. These are kind of fun; it’s like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. (Actually, I never understood […]

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